Steve Biko Essay

Steve Biko Essay

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The South African apartheid ground the African people under the heels of white men. For nearly fifty years, the black population was forced by law to remain apart and downtrodden; to see themselves as less than the white man. In spite of such indoctrination, adversity forged incredible men and women. Bantu Steve Biko was one of these, a catalyst that helped end apartheid. He became a strong leader through his open-mindedness, informed leadership, and his ability to sacrifice for the cause. Without men like Biko, apartheid might have lasted far longer.
Steve Biko was born in King William’s Town, South Africa on Dec. 18, 1946 to Mathew Mzingaye and Alice Biko. Mathew was a kind man and father. He had strong morals which he passed onto Steve and his other children. Mathew stressed education was of utmost importance, that an education would be their key to “upward social movement and independence.” (South Africa History Online). In alignment with Mathew’s teachings, Steve Biko went through elementary and part of secondary school, studying hard and exploring his interests. During high school, however, he grew deeply involved in youth political groups, chafing at the government-enforced propaganda taught to every black student—that their race was inferior and they were never meant to aspire to higher callings, hard labor would be their lives. Indignant at the abuse of his people, Biko pushed back. Shortly afterwards, he was expelled from high school. He enrolled in a medical program at a local university in the hopes of becoming more than what the whites had envisioned for him. But political groups were still too much of a draw. Biko found himself missing classes to participate in protests and meetings for the black caus...


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...lenced. Those who weren’t beaten or arrested went to reporters. The media’s curiosity spiked, and even staunch allies of South Africa, including the USA, were “concerned” about the circumstances of Biko’s death. An 8-year inquiry followed, after which the full story of Biko’s death was revealed. His death helped inspire a collective push against apartheid stronger than ever before. Apartheid was legally abolished in the early 1990s.
Steve Biko’s life was dedicated to serving his people and pushing for their liberation. Biko did much good for the abolition of apartheid, through Black Consciousness as well as through his ultimate sacrifice. His strengths, his open-mindedness, his wise leadership and sacrifices were crucial in toppling the institution of Apartheid. He is missed as a revolutionary thinker as well as the leader he might have been in the world today.

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